I’m not from Southern Florida, and am no where close to what you would call an expert when it comes to Cuban cuisine or where to find the best spots. However, I know good food when I eat it, and Padrino’s was good food. I count Cuban food as some of the best in the world, the Cuban sandwich, dirty rice, ropa vieja, carne frita. I love it all.
We started off the meal with some of Padrino’s croquettes. This was fried finger food in all its glory. Wow! some of the best croquettes I’ve ever had actually. They were lightly crispy, delicious interior stuffing, and the dipping sauce was on point.
I went with the ropa vieja pictured above. For those of you new to Cuban cuisine, the ropa vieja is the barometer to measure how good the place is. Ropa vieja means “dirty clothes” in Spanish so it is a bit odd, that some of their best food is called by this.
My friend ordered this dish. If you don’t see any meat on this plate, don’t panic, it is hidden in that square mound of rice that is covered in cheese. You will find a few other things on this plate typical in not only Cuban, but Caribbean wide and into to the Northern part of South America and that are the smashed and twice fried plantain bananas commonly called “tostones” as well as the yucca, which is a starchy root that commonly replaces the potato in the Carribbean. I personally prefer my yucca in soups or fried, I wasn’t a fan of how Padrinos did theirs, but I did enjoy the tostones.